Local Government Councils are statutory bodies established and empowered to make decisions through delegated legislation.
The Local Government Act 2009 (Qld) empowers local governments to ‘make and enforce any local law that is necessary or convenient for the good rule and local government of its local government area’.
Local Government Councils are generally responsible for town planning and infrastructure, the management of community facilities including libraries, sporting complexes and parks, and providing services such as local waste collection for their designated council area. They also set levies and rates for the provision of services and maintenance of facilities.
Local Councils may only enact laws within the scope conferred by legislation, with certain laws being excluded from their jurisdiction. For example, Local Governments cannot make laws that are inconsistent with state laws, anti-competitive, or that impose fines of more than 850 penalty units.
Local laws can impact significantly on a community and government officials must carry out their duties to a high standard, professionally and within accepted principles of good conduct and practice. Good governance and professionalism concern a range of considerations such as acting ethically, honestly and in good faith, and generally in the interests of the public.
Advising effectively on compliance matters requires a comprehensive understanding of local government legislation and its interplay with various other laws, as well as the unique role of a statutory body and its office bearers. Advice must balance good governance with sound commercial practice.
We can assist across a range of compliance and related Local Government issues including:
- interpreting and advising on statutory instruments and local laws;
- drafting, reviewing and updating templates and precedents for various work areas to foster efficiency and compliance;
- advising on government accountability, office holders’ portfolios and responsibilities, and the exercise of powers and functions;
- advising on risk management and probity issues;
- reviewing and drafting policies and procedures to ensure compliance and manage risk.
WGC Lawyers is a pre-qualified supplier, providing a range of legal services to Local Government through a Local Buy Arrangement administered through the Local Government Association of Queensland.
We have assisted and advised Local Government Councils across a range of compliance and related issues, as well as other legal areas including property matters, debt recovery, employment, intellectual property, tendering and procurement.